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Press Release


Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced an innovative collaboration with Microsoft Corp. to provide New York City students and families with access to Microsoft software.

Students and families will be able to download Office 2016, Office for Mac 2016 and the Office 365 mobile apps available for Windows 10 tablets, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. All of these are part of Microsoft’s Office 365 Education offering and available to download from the website There is no cost for up to five (5) downloads on their personal computers, Windows or Mac, up to five (5) tablets and up to five (5) phones.

“This initiative is about providing students with the tools they need to succeed,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Technology like Microsoft software enhances the educational experience and infuses learning with crucial hands-on computer skills – skills that will be an asset as students prepare for college and the workforce. Learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school day – we want to ensure children and their parents have the resources at home to get curious, organized, and ready to learn together.  I thank Microsoft and the Department of Education for partnering with the New York City Council to make this exciting initiative a reality.”

“We are committed to using technology as a tool to facilitate better instruction and engage students and families,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This exciting new initiative is going to help us do just that – I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council, and Microsoft for their partnership.”
“Ensuring students have access to technology that can support their unique learning styles and will prepare them for the workforce is a top priority for Microsoft,” said Margo Day, Vice President, U.S. Education at Microsoft. “We are proud to join with the New York City Department of Education to support educators in preparing students for college and careers.”
The software can be used as a tool by educators to facilitate useful learning: for example, students can create e-notebooks. Teachers can distribute assignments or quizzes to the e-notebooks, and students can connect to each other’s e-notebooks and work together on projects. With this new initiative, students have out-of-school access to word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software that they can use to complete schoolwork; skills in these areas will also support them in college and careers. 

"By equipping our students with this technology, we empower them to succeed in school and in the workplace," said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Education.  "I applaud Speaker Mark-Viverito, Chancellor Fariña and Microsoft for forging this partnership which will benefit our children by permitting them to download software free of charge.  I am pleased to support this and other initiatives that will help provide a more robust education for young New Yorkers."

“Every student needs the proper tools to be successful in school,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Committee on Technology.  “We are long past the days where well-rounded computer skills were optional.  By providing free software to NYC school children, we are ensuring that every student will have the opportunity to become proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the rest of the Microsoft package.”

In addition to the software and professional development for teachers, Microsoft also offers a Microsoft IT Academy for high schools, a program in Information Technology and Computer Science that can lead to industry-recognized certification. Microsoft supports critical pathways to employment opportunities for students.